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This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Bombardment Was My Favorite Game
Boys and girls together...the class formed two teams; she blew the whistle and you would lob these balls as hard as you could to "tag out" opponents- especially the girls because they were always treated like princesses while the boys were treated like criminals and idiots in the other classes....so this was "payoff time"...we'd knock the girls out of the game first and then the boys left in the game would play til the last kid was left (often me because I'd hide behind the girls and later those left in the game, which usually ended when the meanest and biggest kid in the class, on the other team would finally let me have it, full steam, right in the kisser...and it would, like, stun ya). It's a wonder my nose is still recognizeable.
All that other fancy phys ed stuff is a big waste of money and time for students most of whom (in the U.S.) are unable to learn anything - even if the school day was uninterrupted and 10 hours long.
This film was so drawn out and boring...and I'm still unsure what was the point. They had gym teachers 90 years ago when my parents were in school....what are they talking about?
Was there an American aversion to water? Why not play in the rain and snow? We always used to. Football is played mostly in rain in northern Europe. Cross-country running. Rugby. Circuit training (great memories of press-ups in puddles) You go out. Run around. Get muddy. Stay warm. Back in for a shower. Back to lessons. Invigorated and awake. Unfortunately even in UK we've moved away from this, with Thatcher/Blair selling off playing fields and the Health and Safety Police sticking their oars in.
Ho hum said Pooh.
btw, I'm only going back to '78-'83. Hardly ancient history!
Now we reap the benefits of allergies due to molly-coddling disinfection and obesity due to more input than output.
Go figure/do the math, as the Americans say
Subject: "Effective Living" through Gym Class
For those of us who spent years undergoing the ritual humiliation of school gym classes, this fifties film explains it all. Momâs concerned that son Paul isnât getting enough exercise. He keeps asking his mom to write him notes excusing him from gym class. Heâs bullied by the other boys and heâs becoming a âloner,ââa terrifying prospect for a parent in the hyper-sociable fifties. Paulâs gym class is taught by his regular classroom teacherâthe kids play poorly supervised games or simply mill around the playground.
Mom and the other parents pressure the school board to hire a gym teacher. Thatâs no surprise since this film is sponsored by the âAmerican Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreationâ and other athletically inclined organizations. The film shows idealistic scenes of children and teenagers in structured gym classes. I had forgotten how hideous the girlsâ gym uniforms used to be. Now that Paulâs school has ârealâ gym classes, his school becomes what Mom calls the âright kind of place.â But what about the bullies who picked on Paul? That seemed to be the schoolâs real problem.
The film is narrated by Paulâs mother instead of the usual overbearing male narrator. Obviously, the filmâs sponsors felt that the best way to make their case was by appealing to mothersâ fears of their sons (especially) becoming maladjusted. It doesn't occur to her that gym classes such as the ones shown here that create true psychological trauma in many children
Subject: Trying To Push Gym programs In Schools
This is like a commercial making everything said and done seems so idyllic. As other reviewers mentioned, there were negative consequences of such programs. Like many 1950's films of this kind,the setting was an affluent community. Here all the parents seemed highly intelligent, and all the schools modern and spacious. A utopian situation.
Subject: Life without Jim
A very interesting, unexplored (at least in Prelinger land) subject of lack of proper physical education is discussed here. A mother is wondering why her son is just so mopey all the time. Some people believe that the reason for his, and other kids' restlessness is the lack of a proper Gym teacher, to properly supervise the kids sports. "Nonsense!" one guy blurts out, "Just leave them on the playground and let them be!". This all becomes pretty much then a lecture of there should be these instructors, the final speech seems to take up the last 1/4 of the film, but don't worry, because while this happens, there's some great shots of kids sports, bizarre races, and some long-forgotten activities (like the tandem basketball bouncing race).
Now I know why I had to take Square Dancing in Phys-Ed in Junior High.
By the way, the print looks great!